Care Connectivity Consortium. CommonWell Health Alliance. Carequality. Argonaut. Each one of those organizations purports to have the same goal: To enable electronic health records to communicate and share patient information.
Any progress? Not really, not yet. Patients remain mostly unable to share medical history or test results electronically. They need to be faxed, phoned in, mailed.
Hopes ran high when a group of electronic health record vendors, including Cerner CERN +1.59%, Allscripts, and athenahealth , formed CommonWell more than a year ago. Then hopes were dashed when Epic Systems didn’t join. Eyebrows were raised when the government, Epic, and others formed Carequality earlier this year. Predating those organizations are government initiatives: eHealth Exchange turned Healtheway, and health information exchanges at the state and regional levels.
And now there’s Argonaut, named after a mythological band of heroes. The Argonaut Project is made up of various members of Care Connectivity Consortium, CommonWell, and Carequality. (See diagram below for the overlapping memberships.) On a bright note, it joins Epic with Cerner, McKesson MCK +0.36%, and others.
It’s astonishing that so many organizations need to exist to advance interoperability. HL7, which launched Argonaut last week has been setting standards for the electronic exchange of patient information since 1987.
The technology has always been there. It’s the will that’s missing.